In May, Kemberlee blogged that the FBI reportedly started investigating failed presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wife Jane over a land deal.

She allegedly falsified loan documents when she served as president of the now defunct Burlington College.

Federal prosecutors have now amped up the investigation after they hauled “off more than a dozen records” from the college and asked “a state official to provide evidence for a grand jury.”

The Investigation

Officials started the investigation back “in early 2016 after Brady Toensing, a lawyer who was the state chairman for Trump’s presidential campaign, wrote to the U.S. attorney and federal bank regulators, alleging potential bank fraud.”

Officials did not confirm the investigation until this past April “when the local news outlet reported that a federal prosecutor had asked that records from the college be preserved.”

Last week, The Washington Post received a subpoena from “an attorney for the Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Financing Agency, which helped the college get financing.” The agency received the subpoena, which instructed  asked for “records related to the land deal and all fundraising efforts, pledges and donations” for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Burlington. The subpoena is titled “grand jury investigation” and tells the agency “to contact a special agent with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., a banking regulator” if anyone has questions.

The Post claimed that this subpoena has become “the first confirmation that prosecutors have collected evidence to present to a grand jury.”

The Washington Post reported:

Half a dozen people said in interviews in recent days that they had been contacted by the FBI or federal prosecutors, and former college trustees told The Washington Post that attorneys for Jane Sanders had interviewed them to learn what potential witnesses might tell the government.

The questions from government investigators, as described by those who were interviewed or received subpoenas for documents, suggest that the inquiry is focused on Jane Sanders and alleged bank fraud, and not on her husband. But the inquiry could nonetheless create a political liability for the senator, who was a candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and is the progressive movement’s most popular leader.

Burlington College

Jane Sanders became president of the college in 2004. In 2010, she decided the school should move to a “waterfront property that belonged to the local Roman catholic diocese,” which would cost the school $10 million.

Sanders promised the college would receive the needed donations and enrollment would surge. She presented documents that showed $2.6 million in confirmed donations and “received a $6.7 million loan with the help of the Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Financing Agency.” The Post continued:

People’s United Bank bought the bond, meaning the bank became the lender. The college promised to pay the remaining $3.65 million to cover the entire $10 million purchase from the diocese over 10 years.

The donations were critical. An independent consultant warned in a report to the state bonding agency that the college’s ability to repay its loans from People’s United and the diocese “depends on its ability to raise sufficient capital through its capital campaign.” An undated report from the college touted a “firm commitment” of $1 million and a verbal commitment of $1 million more.

But only months after the college closed on the property purchase, trustees sensed problems.

“Things did not add up,” Dantzscher said. “The donations were not coming in.”

Trustee David V. Dunn said the college collected only about $125,000 through the summer of 2011. The trustees asked other college administrators to get in touch with donors, he said.

“What they were finding was different than what was represented,” he said. “Multiple donors were saying they had never committed to those amounts.”

Mike blogged in May that Sanders resigned in 2011 “and left the school with a golden parachute of $200,000.” He also noted that the Catholic Diocese of Burlington wanted “Sanders investigated for fraud.”

He also mentioned a report from the Washington Free Beacon that during Sanders’ time at the college, it “steered funds to her daughter and a family friend who had been an advisor to Bernie Sanders when he was mayor of Burlington.”


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